Week 1 Thurs Games - Printable Version
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Week 1 Thurs Games - Spburn2 - 08-29-2011 03:28 PM
I thought I'd create this thread so team experts can post their picks for the upcoming Thursday night games.
Kentucky -19.5 (-110) vs Western Kentucky O/U 51.5 (-110)
Game is being played at LP Field in Nashville, TN
Line opened: UK -18
2010: @UK 63 – WKU 28; UK -23.5 and O/U 53.5
Score was 42-14 at half with WKU’s two TDs coming on a 59yd run and a kickoff return
2008: @UK 41 – WKU 3; UK -19.5 and O/U 45.5
In these two games, WKU’s QBs are 11/25 for 105 yds and 1 TD, 1 INT. It seems safe to say WKU’s passing game is non-existent and they pretty much only use it on 3rd and long.
WKU is returning their starting rb Rainey who is pretty good (>1600 yd and 15td in 2010) and put up 184yds and 2td on 24 carries against the Wildcats last year. However, even an excellent performance by him couldn’t make up for a negligent passing game and a defense that was just overpowered by UK’s bigger and better lineman. The line paved the way for 206 yds on the ground and 4 td on 44 carries. UK QBs also displayed a conservative and accurate passing attack going 19/23 for 276 and 4td.
Overall, UKs offense was able to bully a smaller and less talented WKU defense that allowed UK to score touchdowns on 8 of 11 drives. While WKU has improved their talent level each year since moving to the D1 Sun Belt Conference in 2009, I do not think it is significant enough to be impactful against an SEC team (and yes I know people hardly consider UK to be an “SEC caliber” team). Look for Kentucky to control the game by running the ball about 45 times and put up around 250yds on the ground. They will probably try and get Newton comfortable in the pocket and throw a lot of screens and short passes. The defense will be able to single cover WKU’s receivers so they can load the box and aggressively run blitz to stop Western’s main point of attack.
The game is technically counted as a home game for WKU, but I can assure you from my experience of attending UK’s 3 bowl games in Nashville over the last 5 years, that the crowd will be predominately Wildcats fans. This game will feature a lot rushing attempts and shorter passes that should keep the game clock moving.
My prediction: UK 38 – WKU 14
I advise to bet on UK to cover, up to 3 touchdowns, as Western’s players will be simply outmatched against the more talented and bigger players of KY.
RE: Week 1 Thurs Games - Skating Tripods - 08-29-2011 03:36 PM
Good write-up. I want to see how UK opens the playbook to evaluate all their new skill position guys. With that in mind, I think o51.5 would be the play rather than taking a side, but I'd lean UK.
One game that won't be talked about on here cause there's no Toledo expert, I don't think, is the UNH-Toledo game. Gotta like Toledo under two scores. They've got a lot of talent this year. I see 7.5 -115 on 5Dimes and 8.5 -115 on BOL. Have to figure Toledo plays their starters most of the game to try and get them clicking so that they can have a respectable first half against Ohio State.
RE: Week 1 Thurs Games - TuskTusk - 08-29-2011 04:48 PM
The game is technically counted as a neutral site game. Sounds like you believe Kentucky should be given a slight home field, which puts the game right at your 3 TD recommendation.
RE: Week 1 Thurs Games - Skating Tripods - 09-01-2011 07:02 PM
Gotta love Week 1. GA Tech's QB is 1/1 for 82 yards and a TD. His QB rating is 1118.8.